Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Last Sunday we concluded our series on the Apostles’ Creed with the affirmation we believe “in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” Through Christ’s atoning death on the cross, our sins have been forgiven (I Jn. 2:2). Even as Christ was raised from the dead, so shall our spirit, at the time of our death, immediately enter the presence of God (II Cor. 5:8). Then when Christ returns, we will be clothed with a new, resurrection body that is imperishable (Phil. 3:20-21; I Cor. 15:42). And having been forgiven through faith in Christ and clothed with an imperishable body, we are assured of everlasting life, having crossed over from death to life (Jn. 5:24).
This, of course, means many things for us, including that we do not need to fear death. Yes, death is still an enemy, but a defeated enemy and through Christ our destiny is eternal life with Him.
When we come to faith, we experience a newness of life – life as the adopted children of God through Christ the Son. It begins now, will be intensified in the world to come, and will endure forever. As one writer put it: “To come to faith in Jesus Christ is to begin a new relationship with God that is not abolished but actually deepened by death – death sweeps away the remaining obstacles to our experiencing the presence of God.”
Isn’t that a great way to think about death? It’s not what we lose but what we gain. We can begin to experience the fullness of life now, and death removes the obstacles that keep us from experiencing that life in all its fullness. And at death we will be fully in the presence of God.
Thanks be to God for His amazing grace and profound love!
Grace and peace,